The evenings are closing in now, and it’s getting dark earlier. There’s a definite tang of autumn in the air, especially first thing in the morning.
Autumn is the perfect time to bring a little hygge into your life, and these lanterns are an easy way to do that.
Even tiny children can create beautiful results with this technique.
If you’d like to know how to make paper lanterns like these, then read on to see how we tackled this project.
You could also click over here to see some other easy preschool art projects.
How To Make Paper Lanterns – Supplies.
- Watercolour Paper. Really it can be any kind of heavy paper, you just want something that’s not going to fall apart when it’s wet.
- Liquid watercolour paints. A little paint goes a long way. You can use standard watercolours too, I just think it’s fun to drip the colour on with a pipette.
- Pipettes. Sometimes liquid watercolours have pipettes in the lids already.
- Big paintbrushes.
- Markers like these or these.
- Cooking oil – pretty much anything will do, olive oil, cheap vegetable oil, warmed coconut oil.
- Stapler & staples.
- Empty glass jars, labels removed.
- Tealight candles, or LED tealights.
How To Make Oiled-Paper Lanterns.
You can play about with different ways of doing this, and you’ll still end up with beautiful lanterns.
This oiled-paper technique produces a translucent, vibrantly-coloured paper that glows beautifully when you make it into candleholders.
Here’s how to make paper lanterns like the ones pictured here.
1. Brush the paper with water. Just enough to dampen it down.
2. Use pipettes to drip colour onto the paper.
Here’s where you can manipulate the results a little, simply by limiting the colours you make available. That said, even if you let them have completely free rein, the end result will still look great with the candle glowing through.
Use brushes as well if you like, or fingers (but be aware that liquid watercolours stain!)
Aim to cover most of the paper with paint.
3. Let your painting dry.
4. Use markers if you like to add more decoration.
Smaller shapes and patterns work best because you’ll be cutting the paper later.
5. Coat the paper with oil.
Paint the whole sheet of paper with a thin coat of oil, and then flip it over and coat the other side too.
If you hold the paper up to the light, you’ll be able to see if you’ve missed a spot.
Use a clean cloth, or kitchen roll, to wipe off any excess oil. (If you’re making a lot of oiled paper at once, it can be easier to layer it between sheets of clean newsprint, or packing paper, and then weight down under a pile of books overnight).
6. Leave to dry.
7. Cut into rectangles big enough to roll around your jars with an overlap.
8. Roll into cylinders and staple close to the top and bottom.
I find it works best to have two staples at top and bottom.